IonSense, Inc
 November 2012   
What's New with DART? 
The latest developments and news on DART® Mass Spectrometry 

We have released the new DART QuickStrip™ Sample Cards for rapid analysis of 12 samples.  Additionally DART was featured on the Boston news station, and we have a new Forensics Book of Abstracts for you.  As usual, there are some interesting new publications on a variety of topics.

Please have a look and contact me if you have any questions or comments.

We wish you all the best for the Holiday Season.


BM signature

Brian Musselman
President and CEO
IonSense, Inc.
DART Finds Banned Drugs in Boston

"Another reason authorities don't like the synthetic weed is that it is not detected by typical drug tests"

The prevalence of synthetic cannabinoids was recently uncovered in an investigation by a Boston journalist.   With the aid of Chip Cody of JEOL, the DART MS analysis of Mr Nice Guy clearly showed the presence of the compound known as AM-2201.  Additionally Jason Shepard of University at Albany-SUNY, who has published a several papers on the DART analysis of these compounds, said that there is also the danger of having a widely varying amount of drug from one packet to the next.





See More DART MS Forensics Applications:
New Forensics Compilation of DART MS Available 


Download Now:  

DART Forensics Book of Abstracts 2012


See the 2006-2012 abstracts of DART papers on topics such as illicit drug screening, analysis of writing inks and papers, explosives detection, chemical warfare agents, counterfeit drugs and products, and toxic chemicals.  




New DART QuickStripTM Sample Cards


Building on the success of transmission DART for rapid pesticide screening, we have recently released a new 12-spot sample card for rapid, simple analysis of batches of samples.  The new DART QuickStrip Sample Cards are ideal for method development and rapid screening of samples such as drugs of abuse testing, food authenticity, or other applications where reproducible analysis, no cross contamination, and speed of analysis are paramount.


Click here to see it in action  




These cards are used with the DART SVP Source and the cards fit into the QuickStrip Transmission Module.  The cards are available in a package of 50 and the QuickStrip Transmission Module is included with your first order.


Please let us know if you would like additional information on ordering this new product. 




Recent DART Publications


Biomarkers of Whale Shark Health: A Metabolomic Approach (Open Access Article)  


Alistair D. M. Dove, Johannes Leisen, Manshui Zhou, Jonathan J. Byrne, Krista Lim-Hing, Harry D. Webb, Leslie Gelbaum, Mark R. Viant, Julia Kubanek, Facundo M. Fernández    


Georgia Aquarium Research Center, Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America, School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America, NERC Biomolecular Analysis Facility - Metabolomics Node (NBAF-B), School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom, School of Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America

In a search for biomarkers of health in whale sharks and as exploration of metabolomics as a modern tool for understanding animal physiology, the metabolite composition of serum in six whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) from an aquarium collection was explored using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and direct analysis in real time (DART) mass spectrometry (MS). Principal components analysis (PCA) of spectral data showed that individual animals could be resolved based on the metabolite composition of their serum and that two unhealthy individuals could be discriminated from the remaining healthy animals. The major difference between healthy and unhealthy individuals was the concentration of homarine, here reported for the first time in an elasmobranch, which was present at substantially lower concentrations in unhealthy whale sharks, suggesting that this metabolite may be a useful biomarker of health status in this species. The function(s) of homarine in sharks remain uncertain but it likely plays a significant role as an osmolyte. The presence of trimethylamine oxide (TMAO), another well-known protective osmolyte of elasmobranchs, at 0.1-0.3 mol L−1 was also confirmed using both NMR and MS. Twenty-three additional potential biomarkers were identified based on significant differences in the frequency of their occurrence between samples from healthy and unhealthy animals, as detected by DART MS. Overall, NMR and MS provided complementary data that showed that metabolomics is a useful approach for biomarker prospecting in poorly studied species like elasmobranchs.

Aylin Messa, Bernd Enthalera, Markus Fischerb, Claudius Rappa, Julia K. Prunsa, Jens-Peter Vietzkea  

Beiersdorf AG, Analytics,Hamburg, Germany, Hamburg School of Food Science, Institute of Food Chemistry, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany


Identification of endogenous skin surface compounds is an intriguing challenge in comparative skin investigations. Notably, this short communication is focused on the analysis of small molecules, e.g. natural moisturizing factor (NMF) components and lipids, using a novel sampling method with DIP-it samplers for non-invasive examination of the human skin surface. As a result, extraction of analytes directly from the skin surface by use of various solvents can be replaced with the mentioned procedure. Screening of measureable compounds is achieved by direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry (DART-MS) without further sample preparation. Results are supplemented by dissolving analytes from the DIP-it samplers by use of different solvents, and subsequent matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) measurements. An interesting comparison of the mentioned MS techniques for determination of skin surface compounds in the mass range of 50-1000 Da is presented.


Sage J.B. Dunham
, Paul D. Hooker, Robyn M. Hyde 


Westminster College Department of Chemistry, 1840 S 1300 E, Salt Lake City, UT 84105, USA


In this work, methods for the rapid identification, extraction, and quantification of the synthetic cannabinoid, JWH-018, from commercially available "Spice" (a herbal marijuana alternative) are presented. JWH-018 was identified in three different products using time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometry coupled with a direct analysis in real time (DART) ionization source, a process that was completed in less then five minutes and required no sample preparation. Extraction of the JWH-018 from the spice samples using an automated accelerated solvent extraction (ASE) instrument provided clean extracts with few plant pigments. Subsequent quantification by isocratic HPLC produced the following results (mg JWH-018/g plant material): Weekend Warrior brand "Hash": 90 (±3%)mg/g, Weekend Warrior brand "Leaf": 29 (±6%)mg/g, TrainWreck Hayze brand: 28 (±4%)mg/g. Vegetative samples spiked with JWH-018 gave a recovery of 97% (±1%).





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About IonSense  
IonSense, Inc. provides OpenSpot Mass Spectrometry™ solutions to the fields of food safety, forensics, drug development, and chemical analysis. They manufacture and develop direct analysis in real time (DART®) technology licensed from JEOL USA, Inc. and atmospheric solids analysis probe (ASAP™) licensed from M&M Consulting.

DART and ASAP Sources are available for most commercial LC/MS systems.  Look here to see if your system is DART-ready.  And  check here to see if your system is ASAP-ready.